Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Rhonda Jean's Recipe Is So Good!

(photo courtesy of Rhonda Jean's blog)
Ever since Rhonda Jean from Down to Earth made this post about her beef casserole, I felt I just had to try and make it. She calls the cuts of beef she used 'shin beef', which I suppose is what it's called in Australia. In my neck of the woods, it looks like what we call 'hueso redondo' and is labeled "soup bone" in my supermarket. And yes, we use it to make 'caldo de res' or beef soup in the Winter. We also like this cut of beef because it usually has a nice amount of 'tuetano' or marrow. In our family, we all love tuetano! It's supposed to be very good for you. Since I happened to have some in the freezer, I decided to try this new twist on a simple cut of meat. I didn't take pictures, but it turned out so good! The meat was just tender and falling off the bones and tasted so much like 'barbacoa'. Barbacoa is a Mexican regional dish which usually involves roasting a beef head in a pit underground for a lenthy time. Of course, most people just wrap the head or whatever cut of beef is on hand in aluminum foil, and roast it in the oven for several hours. It becomes tender and oh so flavorful! The only seasonings are salt and pepper.

But in Rhonda's recipe, paprika is also added. And then to further add flavor and deliciousness to the dish, she also adds dumplings! Oh, talk about old fashioned goodness! The only thing I changed about her dumpling recipe is I added an egg and used milk instead of water. I learned that from a good friend, Mrs. Harris from Crosbyton,Texas. Boy did she make good chicken and dumplings! I've lost touch with her, but I wish I could thank her for teaching me how to make dumplings! Another change I made to Rhonda's recipe is that I omitted the carrot. I usually find that when I add carrots to a recipe it ends up tasting like beef stew. Not that it's a bad thing, I just want a little different flavor coming through.

I highly recommend Rhonda's recipe. It opened up a new way to prepare those soup bones, plus it's easy to make and very delicious!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last of The Photo Editing Projects

I wanted to share my final project for the photo editing class. The lessons ended a few days ago, but I had gotten stuck on making a nine photo grid. With a little help, it was finally accomplished!

This second grid merely shows selective colorizing. A lot of fun and very easy to do!
I truly enjoyed this brief course. I'll have to keep reading back on my notes to remember some of the points, but good thing the video lessons will be available indefinitely.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Awe-Summ!

I really enjoy putting up these little awards graphics on my sidebar. That is one of the reasons my good friend Gloria from the Viva La Vida blog shares them with me. I truly appreciate her gesture. The rules for getting this award is to list seven awe-summ things about yourself and then pass the award on to seven people. Like Gloria, I too find it hard to pass on awards because not everyone likes to take part. But I'll do my best. Or how about if anyone who happens to read this and likes the award just accepts it? Yeah! Please do post it on your blog, but if you do, try to list the seven things you think would be nice for us to know about. And if you wish, please do pass it on to others.

So now for seven things about myself....humm...maybe not so awesome, but just a little bit of trivia about 'moi'.

I. I learned to read and write both English and Spanish in first grade, actually before the end of the first semester; I was an 'accelerated' learner. (That however, has changed over the years, he,he,he)

II. I enjoy writing poetry.

III. I make 'awe-some' Mexican rice as well as white rice.

IV. I learned machine embroidery on my own, just from reading on the internet (the manual just didn't help at all).

V. I am an awe-summ Grandmother!

VI. I do believe those are enough "I's" don't you?

VII. Every Day Is A New Opportunity And A New Chance!

Thank you very much Gloria for this award!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Evangelizing

We are so very comfortable. "We" being those of us who proclaim to be Christians. We wake up each day, go about with the affairs of the day, be it raising our families, working, or engaged in our hobbies or pastimes. And all the while, millions are dying without having known the gospel of Jesus Christ.



In our elaborately self justified way, we convince ourselves that it is not proper or acceptable to proselytise. "That is just plain rude!" we say when we hear of anyone who dares to engage in dialogue which focuses on matters of faith or spirituality. "Why, that's like trying to shove a belief down some one's throat!" And all the while, millions are dying without having known the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and whether to even believe in God! Why, even the Constitution gives us that freedom!" So many well composed phrases which can knock the wind out of any one's sails, especially anyone who wishes to obey the 'Great Commission'.


The thing which we are so quick to forget is that this is not about shoving an idea or ideology down any one's throat. This is merely about sharing how the Gospel has touched your life, and how simple it is to be forgiven in order to escape the final grip of death--an eternity in hell. And you are simply obeying Christ's command to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (St. Luke 16:15) There is no forcing or shoving going on. Each individual makes up his or her own mind. Some will believe, some will not.


But how will they know, unless they hear? And how will they have the option to accept or reject, except it be presented to them? And this is where the saying 'the devil is in the details' comes to mind. We are so keen on being politically correct and in not offending anyone, that we actually come to believe that the word 'proselytize' is a dirty word! What an effective way for man's worst enemy to silence us. So we keep our opinions to ourselves. The rude awakening call is this: believing in heaven or hell is not an opinion. It is a life or death choice. And everyone should have that choice whether to believe or not. It is up to us to step out of our comfort zones and evangelize. Remember that word? It means to ''preach the gospel". Just because......all the while millions are dying without having known about Jesus Christ and Salvation!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Storyboard

A Story About Yoda
Yesterday's class project completed yesterday, posted today.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jose Alfredo Jimenez Video

I'm so glad Bob made this post. His purpose was to show another way to learn Spanish. The video reminded me how much I really like this type of music, and in particular this Mexican artist. Jose Alfredo Jimenez was one of Mexico's shining stars, but sadly he died rather young at the age of 47. His music genre is known as 'ranchera' but also includes mariachi. What is awesome about him is that he had no musical training, yet composed more than a thousand songs! I grew up listening to his music. There is something so rustic and primitive about this sort of music that just speaks to the core of my heritage. I'm just going to share one of the many songs this singer/songwriter created. The difficult part was choosing which video to embed, since there were quite a lot of them.



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Caught Up


Today's lesson. Feeling caught up. Good feeling. Wish I felt the same about my chores.

Bummer!


Well, I got stuck in yesterday's Photoshop lesson. All of yesterday and then today I was working at it, trying to figure out why my picture was dull and faded. It does have layers of texture underneath, but it shouldn't be so opaque. I asked for help, but since I didn't properly save my file, I cannot bring it up so as to troubleshoot. Bummer!

So I'm posting it anyway as is. Not the greatest, I grant you. But now I can move on to today's lesson, which I will hopefully post about either later tonight or tomorrow. I don't want to fall behind.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Photo Techniques

Before

After
My after picture shows the use of 'burning' the edges with the gradient tool. I rather like it. You basically go in and darken the image then with a brush tool lighten the central area to make it 'pop'.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 8 of Class

For a while there I worried I wouldn't be able to finish my project before tomorrow's lesson. Today was simply adding typography, which is not difficult at all. I also added some texture layers and a black frame. I am really liking the use of the grungy mask edges. The textures underneath make the photo seem very old.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow's lesson holds. I am somewhat glad though, that there's only this week remaining of the class. I have got to get back to sewing and taking care of my garden. This drought we're having is so brutal to the plants.

My sewing machine actually looks lonely and neglected. I've got aprons to make, people! But nonetheless I want to finish with this class. Interestingly, this class has me thinking I would love to take a basic photography class. We'll see. Sometimes I feel like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date; No time to say goodbye/hello."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Old Camera Look




In the photo editing class, we learned a new technique. Using 'Through the Videofinder" files or TTV's to give a photo the look of those old square pictures taken by old cameras. Also added some texture layers. But it is a little hard for me to remember certain steps, since each one is slightly different to execute. Not hard, not rocket science, just an increase in steps to remember.

As someone in the PS forum noted, it's ironic how we're trying to 'grunge' up our photos, to give them an antique or vintage look, when so many people actually take their old photos to get 'cleaned up'. But I love that old patina that only old photographs have.



Now in my photo above, I may have added one too many layers. I really do want to learn to do this well, and I know I have a ways to go. It's all about learning something new every day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Might As Well


Edit: I thought it would make sense to post the 'before' picture as well, to get a sense of the texture and color layering. This little path leads to our front door on the side; it is however, an old picture...about two years old.

Might as well share today's PhotoShop project. I didn't choose a very good picture for this technique. The project entailed adding texture and a nice frame. Pardon the pun, but well, you get the picture.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another Day

Another hot day in paradise. I should probably stop doing this, but I've got to post the picture I worked on for today's class. The segment was on adding a scruffy, grungy edge to a photo. It was fun, it's just that I'm not sure I remember all the previous steps for the previous work. I have to keep referring to the video. It'd be great if I could just go at it without having to look back at the training steps. I guess I'm officially having lots more 'Senior" moments.

On the plus side, this gives me subject material for making a post. In blogging, sometimes it's hard to come up with things to write about. Well for now I'd best get up from this here chair because I've got an antojo or hankering for some ice cream. So, until next time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More Fun With PhotoShop

Joy! What incredible things I have learned about photo editing! And I know it's just the tip of the iceberg. Now I will have to go out and buy the software. I may have to pinch some pennies here and there, but I think it's worth it. I like knowing those classes will be there for me and I can review when I please. Thank you Ms. Sprague for sharing your skills with us!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fun With Photo Editing

This photo was so much fun to edit! It's my Son and Grandson Owen. I will no doubt have lots of photos I can spend endless hours editing.

Second Class Day


This class is just so much fun. I can see how digiscrapping can become addictive! I can hardly wait for the next class!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Trying Out a Lesson


Well today was the first class on photo editing that I posted about here. It is so nice because you can go at your own pace, and you can stop the video over and over until you learn what the lesson is. The class today covered how to do a frame and insert word art into a photo. That was a lot of fun.

I also wanted to learn how to do a watermark on a photo, and was given a link for a quick lesson. I used this photo I took of my Queen of the Night cactus. All in all, I'd say this is a great class. The instructor is so nice and professional. She has quite a following too! So glad I found out about this learning opportunity.

Beverly's Shop

I had another great online shopping experience. I like to give a heads up to those sites that really go the extra mile to provide both a good product and a positive sales transaction. Such was the case when I placed an order with Beverly from Tea Time and Roses. She has two lovely online stores, Tea Time And Roses The Shop as well as her Etsy shop.

I'm certain that the fact that Beverly is a sweet friend of mine had no bearing on her excellent service. I've read from other bloggers who also rave about her shop and service. Beverly recently had surgery, so she was away from her shop temporarily. But she is back, and her creations are wonderful! Her workmanship and materials are first class.

So if you're looking for a sweet gift for a loved one, do visit her shops. You are sure to find something special. Shipping was prompt too! Her blog also happens to be one of my favorite 'oasis' sites. It's a peaceful, beauty filled place to hang out at.

I like to think that in this blogging community we are all friends. As such, we should support each other especially in our creative or entrepreneurial endeavors. I know that in this day and age of speed and convenience, good customer service is hard to come by. At least I find that to be the case when I go shopping at the regular stores. I'm so thrilled when I run into a site or person who believes in providing great service. Tea Time And Roses is one of those places!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Who's Afraid of Death?

Found this nifty generator whilst browsing on Flicker.
Pretty neat, huh?
There's also a church generator, for some weekend fun.

Just a little bit of dark humor....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ode to The Seagulls On the Fourth of July

Last night, we made a decision to go to the Mustang Island beach in Corpus Christi. It was a last minute sort of thing. I wasn't too keen on going, but Sweetie reminded me of the flea market in Mathis, which is only held the first weekend of each month. So I said, why not? I didn't find much at the flea market, but that was fine. We still had the beach to go to. Would you believe I didn't go prepared? Like I said, last minute sort of thing....good thing Sweetie reminded me to take my trusty hat along for the hot sun.
But other than that, no sunscreen, no comfy beach chair or umbrella, no swim suit...er..shorts and t shirt!


But we did stop and pick up a couple of loaves of bread for my favorite beach pastime: feeding the seagulls!
Glorious blue sky, wonderful ocean breeze, and that wonderful scent from the sea water!
Fun in the surf and sun.

We've never done this before. We always carefully plan every outing. But it was still nice. Sometimes it's nice to be spontaneous. People were having so much fun in the water, it was very tempting to get in. There were quite a lot of overnight campers, some who had simply pitched their tents in the soft silky sand.
We'll go again before Summer's over, but we'll go better prepared, maybe even have an overnight stay at the State Park.
Afterwards, we headed to a nice Japanese restaurant, then it was homeward bound.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sweet Video

Dedicated to my Sweetie♥my Beloved

Edit Note: Scroll down to the bottom to turn off player first; then click on video to listen to the song.

I found this sweet romantic video via the online photo editing class I'll be taking. I figure I'm not too old to enjoy a modern yet romantic song.



And it is so nice to see and listen to young and not so young people celebrating AMOR!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Prayer

Lord, God! Please do give them strength to bear what they must. On this last journey to give their loved one a place to rest...to await...in what we have believed. Father, if you will, ease their pain, and quickly wipe their tears, that joy may soon and again have a place in their hearts. Those steps, each and every one, Lord God, that no one wants to take; those steps which lead to finality, to closure, to goodbye....Lord lift them up and hold them up, and help them get through it. That in the end, they might remember, that you give, and you take away...and that is the legacy we must endure. I know Lord, you will remember your servant Victoria. I pray you will extend your promise of Salvation to all her family, and if he didn't know you, that he repented even in those last moments. Father have mercy, and I ask it in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.

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